So here's the story. I hunted opening day in KY on the 10th. No joy. Drove 2 days to CO starting Sunday. Got there a day early to shoot, scout, relax. Went to a private range where I was told you can shoot to 600 yards but they didn't have any gongs or boards past 300 and they told me that 300 was it for sight-in. So, I popped off 3 rounds each at 300 on their gong with the 280 and then the 7mag.
When the first shot hit center at 300 after dialing 2.5 MOA on the Zeiss for the 280, I went from having 2 members who were spotting to all of them which was about 7. I was the only guy there shooting. Shots 2 and 3 appeared to be in the same hole on the gong which was painted red because we could not see any other marks. I WISH I got my camera out and videoed that! I figured 3 was enough for this range, I'll shoot somewhere else at longer distance.
One of the members painted the gong for me and then I brought out the 7mag. Put 3 in about an inch or 2 inches. Hard to tell when the lead appears to be one big splat on a red painted gong. I was good to go. I think I was at the range about 6-7 minutes total. I used the MOAR reticle on the NF scope for the 7mag in lieu of dialing. It was dead on per my JBM print out taped to the scope.
As pictured in the first post, we got pics and video of a few bucks the day before my season. We talked with a lot of the land owners and no one was seeing many big bucks which was disappointing. Since I have a lot to do here at home, I chewed on it all evening and most of the night, not sleeping well, and decided that the first reasonable (to me) buck I saw, I would try for.
Didn't see any of the bucks in the morning, only dinks and does. In the evening, I spotted the buck I shot at 200 yards with a crowd of does, in the exact same place we got pics of him the day before. My 280 was zeroed at 200. He didn't care that I was visible at times. He bred a doe twice, then died abruptly when the 150 NBT passed through his lungs at 216 yards. Nice buck for a short 1 day hunt. I packed that evening and headed home for another 2 day drive.
Got home Friday night around 1030pm losing 2 hours with the time change. Got up and was at my spot in KY at 658am. Shot the 8 pointer at 707am at 113 yards with the 280. Again and as always in my experience, the btip blew through and I'll have some more meat soon.
I'm on a time crunch this season. Lots of things I have to get done by mid December so hunting has to be quick for me. Any other season, and the small 8 from KY would have walked.